Firefox 2…is the beta worth it?

Firefox 2 is out in beta for testing.

I’m such a sucker for new tech, even when it’s just a new ribbon on old tech. But like the Office 2007 beta, I think I have to hold back until I’m sure that extensions I rely on are functional.

I’m comforted by looking at the list of new features and the realization that I’m not missing anything by sticking with version 1.5.0.4.

  • Built in Phishing Protection. Check. Got it in the Google Toolbar
  • Search suggestions now appear with search history in the search box for Google, Yahoo! and Answers.com. Check. Google Toolbar, I don’t care about suggest in Yahoo or answers.com
  • Changes to tabbed browsing behavior. Check. All the changes I already have in Tab Mix Plus
  • Ability to re-open accidentally closed tabs. Check. Tab Mix Plus.
  • Better support for previewing and subscribing to web feeds. Check. Google Toolbar
  • Inline spell checking in text boxes. Check. Spellbound development
  • Search plugin manager for removing and re-ordering search engines. Okay, don’t have that…but I tend to stick with Google 99% of the time so I don’t care.
  • New microsummaries feature for bookmarks. I have a handful of local bookmarks. The majority are on del.icio.us, so bookmarking features don’t interest me unless like Flock, they integrate with del.icio.us
  • Automatic restoration of your browsing session if there is a crash. Check. Tab Mix Plus
  • New combined and improved Add-Ons manager for extensions and themes. still running default theme. Don’t care.

What I want to know before I’ll switch to the beta or even the release…is it faster? Does it use RAM more efficiently and give it back when it doesn’t need it anymore? If certain extensions are now built in to the browser, I’m hopeful. But I’ll wait to be sure.

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3 thoughts on “Firefox 2…is the beta worth it?

  1. Angel says:

    I’m running Firefox 2.0 on my Mac and it is noticeably faster. Usually, I would need to shut it down every couple of hours because it would become unbearably slow…not the case anymore. The speed increase alone is worth downloading (for me at least).

    I also like how I can configure it to automatically add RSS feeds to my favorite RSS reader (NetNewsWire).

    But you are correct for the most part. Many of the “new” features were already available in extensions.

  2. Sure there are some extra add ons, but they forgot some of the major things.

    There are still memory leaks!!

    And most extensions wont be compatible with ff2

  3. Judi Sohn says:

    I upgraded to the release version of Firefox 2 last night. The majority of extensions/add-ons are now FF2 compatible. The ones I really care about are working just fine.

    I’ll have to run it for a while longer to see how the memory situation is going.

    I like the subtle changes to the theme. I like the fact that the download window closes when it’s done. I like the way you can add feeds to the reader of your choice (more elegant than in previous versions). I like the fact that the spell check is built-in.

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